Pompeo praises EU over sanctions targeting cyberattacks from China, Russia

Pompeo praises EU over sanctions targeting cyberattacks from China, Russia
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHong Kong police arrest pro-democracy media tycoon: aide Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran Trump puts trade back on 2020 agenda MORE on Thursday welcomed a move by the European Union to sanction for the first time individuals and entities allegedly involved in cyber attacks and that hail from China, North Korea and Russia.

“Bad behavior in cyberspace should incur consequences. We applaud the EU’s first cyber sanctions designations,” Pompeo said in a tweet. “We will continue to work with the EU, its member states, and likeminded countries to promote a framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.”

European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borell announced Thursday that the E.U. would impose travel restrictions and freeze assets on six individuals and three entities involved in cyber attacks that posed an external threat to the EU or its member states. 

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These included two Chinese nationals involved in an attack dubbed “Operation Cloud Hopper” and that targeted multinational companies on six continents, but including countries within the EU. 

The four other sanctioned individuals are Russian nationals who are connected to a sanctioned entity of Russia’s military wing, known as the Main Center for Special Technologies of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of The Russian Federation.

The individuals were targeted for allegedly hacking into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons located in the Netherlands.

The EU, in its sanctions notice, said the Russian military wing was implicated in the 2015 and 2016 targeting of Ukraine’s security grid, as well as cyber attacks in 2017 against the EU and member states.

Sanctions also targeted a North Korean entity, Chosun Expo, that the EU said provided financial and material support to cyber attacks against the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and had earlier been implicated by the U.S. Justice Department in cyber attacks against Sony Picture in 2018.

The sanctions are the first of their kind for the EU.